They are perfect for newborns and are ideal for toddlerhood for back carries. In their simplest form, each of these carriers are essentially a rectangular cloth body with three different strap options depending on whether you will be using a Mei Tai, a Pod, or an Onbu. Mei Tais are the most popular and widely available of the Asian-inspired carriers, so we will mostly discuss those. Information on Pods and Onbus can be found at the bottom of this post! What is a Mei Tai? In its very simplest form, a Mei Tai is a rectangular cloth body with straps coming off of each corner.
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In this section you will learn how both are used with a newborn through to a toddler. Here is an example of a tip for positioning a newborn in a Mei tai from the Asian Carriers Chapter. The Mei tai originates in China. Although there are many variations it is generally a rectangular piece of material with a long strap coming from each corner. Traditionally a baby is carried on the back of a mother or grandmother so they can continue to work.
A baby sling or baby carrier is a piece of cloth that supports an infant or other small child from a carer's body. The use of a baby sling is called babywearing. These are baby carriers that use dynamic tension, a length of cloth and metal such as aluminum or nylon rings. One end of the cloth is sewn to two rings.
A baby carrier is one of the baby essentials I recommend for you, even if you have a short list and a tight budget. Save money by buying just one baby carrier. Especially in the first few months, most babies want to be very close to their parents. After babies start to move around, they will still spend a lot of time asking to be picked up. You have a higher vantage point to see the world.